Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits, Uses, Recipes And More

Lemongrass is an ingredient found in many traditional medicines. It is known by many names including lemon grass, barbed wire grass, Malabar grass, Cochin grass, fever grass, citronella grass, silky heads, and /or oily heads. Botanically it is called Cymbopogon, which belongs to the genus grass plants. This tropical grassy plant is native to Australia, Africa and Asia.

There are different species of Cymbopogon, each with its unique traits. Lemongrass has many therapeutic benefits. The lemongrass is also used for culinary purposes. Lemongrass oil also has spiritual uses. It is an ingredient in van van oil which is used to cleanse the house and surroundings, rid evil spirits and bring about peace and happiness.

What does lemongrass essential oil smell like?

The essential oil of lemongrass has a strong citrusy aroma. It is made use of in soaps, perfumes, and personal care products.

Lemongrass essential oil can be extracted from the plant. The oil has been used in traditional medicines in its native region. The essential oil is also used for treating issues related to digestion, mental health and other ailments. It is possible due to its many therapeutic and health benefits. The fragrance of lemongrass oil is a popular choice in aromatherapy where it is diffused to relive stress and anxiety.

Constituents of Lemongrass Essential Oil

The constituents or active ingredients in the lemongrass EO is responsible for its many therapeutic properties and its fragrance. Its constituents are – citronellal, citronellol, citral, isoneral, isogeranial, geraniol, geranial, geranyl acetate, germacrene-D, neral and elemol.

These are the compounds that give lemongrass oil its benefits. So, what are the benefits of lemongrass essential oil. Let’s find out.

Top Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil

1. Antibacterial Properties

The essential oil of lemongrass is applied on wound to speed up its healing. The oil also prevents infections. It is able to do so because of its antibacterial properties. Research published on Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine on 2010 reported that lemongrass oil was effective against several test organisms including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus subtilis. At lower concentrations of lemongrass oil, it inhibited the organisms. Some of the gram-negative organisms were resistant to antibiotics, but were successfully inhibited by lemongrass oil. (1)

2. Antifungal Properties

What are fungi? Organisms including yeast and mold fall under the category of fungi. Research for determining concentration at which lemongrass and its constituent citral found that a cream with 2.5% lemongrass oil was sufficient in inhibiting yeasts of Candida species. This property of lemongrass oil can be utilized in dealing with Athlete’s Foot and jock itch. However, more research is needed. This research was published on the journal Phytotherapy Research in 1996.(2)

3. Lemongrass Essential Oil has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Everyone deals with minor inflammations every now and then, but chronic inflammation can lead to long term health issues including arthritis and Type-2 diabetes. Lemongrass oil has anti-inflammatory properties due to its constituents. Citral is the main constituent that gives lemongrass its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2014 study published in the Libyan Journal of Medicine investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass oil. The study concluded that lemongrass oil had both antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (3).

4. Lemongrass Oil has Antioxidant Properties

There are free radicals in the body that will wreak havoc to one’s health. It damages cells and can even cause cancer. Researchgate published a study on the antioxidant activities of lemongrass. The researchers concluded that lemongrass and its compounds scavenged free radicals, thus neutralizing them. Research found that lemongrass essential oil has the potential to be used as an antioxidant agent; however, emphasized the need for more research (4).

Lemongrass oil is also used as an ingredient in mouthwash as it reduces the plaque index and gingival index, which is useful in dealing with gingivitis. This study was published in the dentistry section of the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (5).

5. Lemongrass Essential Oil has Antidiarrheal Properties

Lemongrass is a new commodity for therapeutic purposes. It has been used in folk medicine to deal with digestive distress. The oil of lemongrass is also used to deal with digestive issues. A study has shown that lemongrass oil can help in slowing down diarrhoea. The study used lab mice and induced diarrhoea through castor oil. The fecal output of the mice was less. More research is needed to find out if lemongrass oil slows the intestinal motility.

6. Lemongrass Essential Oil for Nausea

The aroma of the oil has a positive effect on nausea. Using the oil in aromatherapy or inhaling the aroma for certain time will deal with nausea. The zesty fragrance of the rejuvenates the body while calming stomach distress.

7. Lemongrass Oil for Gastric Ulcers

Gastric ulcers, also called stomach ulcers, are open sores in the stomach linings. It causes pain and discomfort. A study published in the Journal of Young Pharmacists showed that lemongrass oil prevented gastric ulcers in mice.

8. Reduces Cholesterol

Cholesterol levels must be controlled to avoid long term health complications including cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In traditional medicine, lemongrass has been used to deal with heart and cardiovascular health. A study published in the African Journal of Biotechnology investigated the hypocholesterolaemic effect of the oil from Cymbopogon citratus. The study on albino rats showed that this oil has hypocholesterolaemic effect. (6)

9. Lemongrass Essential Oil for Blood Sugar Regulation

A study on the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of lemongrass oil has shown that lemongrass oil may reduce or regulate the blood sugar levels. The oil also increased the good cholesterol HDL in the body. The study was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on July 2007 (6).

10. Lemongrass Oil has Analgesic Properties

Citral is one of the main compounds in the oil that has many therapeutic benefits. It also has analgesic or pain-relieving properties. This property along with its anti-inflammatory property can be utilized to deal with ailments including rheumatoid arthritis. A study backs this fact. The study published on Researchgate in 2017 showed that applying the oil regularly decreased the pain levels caused by rheumatoid arthritis in adults. (7)

11. Lemongrass Oil has Antidepressant Properties

Chronic stress and anxiety have long term ramifications on health. Physical issues including high blood pressure can also lead to stress. Studies have shown that aromatherapy is good for dealing with stress and anxiety. A study published on Researchgate in 2015 evaluated the physiological effects of lemongrass massage oil. The study measured the blood pressure and pulse rate of the participants. It showed that the group of participants who received massages over a period of 3 weeks had lower diastolic blood pressure. The effects of lemongrass and sweet almond oil may help with mental health issues. (8)

12. Lemongrass Oil for Headaches and Migraine

The pain-relieving properties of lemongrass oil is effective in tackling headaches and migraines. A study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that lemongrass oil can be used as a non-conventional remedy for headaches. One of the compounds that has the ability to treat headaches is eugenol. This oil also releases serotonin, the happiness inducing hormone. (9)

13. Lemongrass Oil as Bug Repellent

Lemongrass oil is used as an ingredient in bug and mosquito repellent. A study published in the journal Insects investigated the insecticidal properties of lemongrass oil and found it to be active against several insects. (10)

Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil

1. Essential Oil for Treating Gout

Gout is an inflammatory ailment that affects one joint at a time. Lemongrass oil has anti-inflammatory properties that soothes the affected area. Taking a few drops of lemongrass essential oil, mixing it with coconut oil and rubbing it on the inflamed region of the body can provide relief from gout.

2. Essential Oil for Headaches

Lemongrass essential oil has a soothing and calming effect with an invigorating aroma. The oil’s aroma can be inhaled directly from its bottle or dispersed in the home to get relief from headaches. It can also be topically applied to the temples.

3. Tonic for the Nerves

Oils with nervine properties boosts the functioning of the nervous system. Nervous system working at its optimal value can be of use against health complications including Parkinson’s disease. Regular massages with lemongrass essential oil ensures that the nervous system works at its best. Swedish massages are best for boosting nerve functions.

4. Oil for Digestive Issues

Lemongrass oil is excellent choice for those suffering from indigestion. Apply a few drops of diluted lemongrass essential oil on the tummy to speed up the process of digestion. The oil can also be applied to deal with other stomach related ailments.

5. Body Detoxification

The oil is known to detoxify the liver, digestive tract and kidneys. It is diuretic in nature, which means that the oil induces urination. The oil is massaged into the body to help it detoxify by getting rid of excess water, salt and toxins.

6. Quick Deodorizer

Lemongrass oil has a lemony aroma which is made use of in perfumery. Lemongrass oil is an ingredient in most deodorants, colognes and air fresheners. A drop or two of the diluted oil can be applied on the skin as a quick deodorant.

7. Essential Oil for Muscle Aches

Lemongrass oil is a muscle relaxant as it improves the blood circulation and prevents muscle spasms. It is also a good gym companion. It does away with muscle soreness. Lemongrass oil can be diluted and applied on the feet as well. This practice is followed by many before bedtime. Research with a small number of participants showed that this oil is useful in dealing with plantar fasciitis and lymphedema. (More studies need to be done on this.)

8. Essential Oil for Boosting Immunity

Lemongrass oil also enhances the absorption of nutrients in the body. This helps to keep the functions of the body at its optimal level. This property of the oil also ensures that the immunity of the body improves. These properties are useful in protecting the body.

9. Oil for Varicose Vein Relief

The anti-inflammatory properties of essential oil of Cymbopogon are useful in calming the agitated varicose veins. Rubbing the veins with lemongrass oil diluted with coconut oil (or other vegetable oils) soothes the surface and helps ease the ailment. (There are no human trials available.) People usually make a warm compress to deal with this issue. They add a few drops of lemongrass oil to warm water and soak it with a clean cloth. The cloth is then placed on the affected area for 20 minutes. For better effect, keep the feet in elevated position.

10. Oil for Nail Fungus

Nail fungus can be taken care of with lemongrass oil due to its antifungal properties. Choose a carrier oil. The best one would be black cumin seed oil. Take 2 tablespoons of the oil and add 6 drops of lemongrass oil. Mix the mixture and apply it to the infected nails. After regular application the fungus will change in color. In a few weeks, healthy nails will start growing.

11. Lemongrass Oil for Hair Growth

Lemongrass oil is renowned for its ability to strengthen the hair. The antibacterial properties of the oil promote healthy hair growth by strengthening the hair follicles. For creating a mixture, add 6 drops of lemongrass essential oil to 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and massage it to the scalp. Leaving the oil overnight is a good practice. This mixture of oils is also good for removing hair lice.

12. Oil to Improve Sleep

Whether is massage or diffusion, lemongrass oil boosts sleep. The oil can be used (topical application or aroma diffusion) before sleeping hours for better quality of sleep. The oil has sedative effects which ensures that a person falls asleep quicker.

13. Lemongrass for Thyroid Health

Although there is not enough evidence, many use lemongrass essential oil for dealing with hypothyroidism. Add a few drops of lemongrass to jojoba oil and rub on the thyroid region.

14. Oil Massage for Cholesterol

Most people ingest lemongrass oil to deal with high cholesterol. However, the ingestion of essential oils is never recommended at Gya labs. A thorough and regular massage with lemongrass oil and extra virgin olive oil may lower cholesterol levels.

15. Essential Oil for Skin

Lemongrass oil has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, thus making it a proper wean in the fight skin infections. The oil is already used in many skincare products. Conditions including cold sores can be taken care of with this oil.

To deal with candida infection, apply 3 drops of lemongrass oil (diluted with jojoba oil) to the affected part. To take care of oral thrush, add 2 drops of the oil to warm water and gargle with it few times. Those affected with cellulite can apply the oil to the affected region. As mentioned, lemongrass is a diuretic, which gets rid of excess fluid.

To treat cold sores with essential oils, add it to coconut oil and apply it to the affected parts of the lips. Apply it for a few times in a day. Inflammation of the skin is a common issue, which is properly dealt with by the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil. Just a few drops soothe the skin. Due to the versatile nature of the oil, it can be included in the daily skincare routine.

While steaming the face, add a few drops of lemongrass oil into it. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of the oil remove the trapper bacteria and cleanses the pores and skin. And yes, it is good for treating the dreaded acne.

16. Aromatherapy for Stress

Issues that affect one’s emotional wellbeing needs to be taken care of at the earliest. Aromatherapy is a good way to deal with stress, anxiety and enervation. Add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to any type of diffuser and inhale its aroma for 10-30 minutes. The aroma balances the hormones in the body and helps with overcoming stress.

Top 3 DIY Recipes with Lemongrass Essential Oil

Here are three DIY recipes that incorporate lemongrass essential oil:

Recipe #1 – Lemongrass Body Scrub


  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil)
  • 10-15 drops of lemongrass essential oil


  1. In a mixing bowl, blend the granulated sugar and carrier oil.
  2. Add the lemongrass essential oil to the mixture.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a clean jar for storage.
  5. How to use? Apply a small amount of the scrub to damp skin and gently massage in circular motions. Rinse off with tepid water. This body scrub will exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it feeling soft.

Recipe #2 – Lemongrass Room Spray


  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons of witch hazel
  • 10-20 drops of lemongrass essential oil


  1. In a spray bottle, combine the distilled water and witch hazel, which acts as a dispersant.
  2. Add the drops of lemongrass essential oil to the bottle.
  3. Close the spray bottle tightly and shake well to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Spray the mixture around your room to freshen the air or use it as a natural insect repellent.
  5. Shake the bottle before each use.

Recipe #3 – Lemongrass Bath Salts


  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 8 – 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil


  1. Combine the Epsom salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add 8 -10 drops of lemongrass essential oil to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a clean jar for storage.
  4. How to use? Add a few tablespoons of the lemongrass bath salts to your bathwater. Enjoy a relaxing bath that will help relieve muscle tension and leave you feeling refreshed.

Safety Precautions for Lemongrass Essential Oil

Essential oils are plant extracts and are natural. However, it does pose some health hazards especially when used without following proper instructions. Here are some of the precautions that must be followed while using essential oils.

  • Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent. Always dilute them in a carrier oil (including coconut oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil) before applying them to your skin. A general guideline is to use a 2-3% dilution.
  • Before applying an essential oil topically it’s advisable to perform a patch test. This is imperative especially if you have sensitive skin. Apply a small amount of diluted essential oil to a small area of your skin and after a few hours (or overnight) observe for any adverse reactions like redness, itching, or irritation. If a negative reaction occurs, discontinue use.
  • Avoid direct contact with eyes and mucous membranes. Essential oils should not come into direct contact with your eyes and should never be ingested. Rinse with plenty of cool water in case of accidental contact. When using essential oils in the bath, ensure they are properly dispersed in a carrier oil or a suitable emulsifier.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Essential oils should be stored in a safe place away from children and pets. Ingestion of certain essential oils can be toxic, and some oils may have adverse effects on animals.
  • Consult a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medications. It is a safe practice to consult a healthcare professional before using essential oils.
  • Some essential oils, such as citrus oils (including lemon, lime, bergamot oils) may cause photosensitivity and increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid sun exposure or use appropriate sun protection when using these oils topically.
  • Store essential oils properly. These oils should be stored in dark glass bottles, away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. This helps to preserve their potency and extends their shelf life.


Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from the plant Cymbopogon, which has several medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The oil can be used for physical and emotional wellbeing. It is largely used for skin and hair care, but has other uses in medicine as well. It is used to take care of a range of health issues from stress to acne to repelling insects. It is effective due to its properties including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal.

Lemongrass essential oil was effective with with many other potential health benefits. Lemongrass essential oil for massage is quite popular as lemongrass essential oil may help boost the body’s defenses. Many studies have shown that it can even treat digestive problems and high blood pressure issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is lemongrass essential oil used for?

Lemongrass essential oil has several uses:
 It can be used in aromatherapy.
The oil can be used to drive away blood sucking mosquitoes.
It can be used in several blend recipes for skincare and hair care.
Lemongrass oil can be used in massages.

Where do I apply lemongrass essential oil?

Lemongrass essential oil can be topically applied (after diluting with a carrier oil) throughout the body except sensitive regions including eyes, nose, ears and genitals. The oil can be applied on the hair and scalp, abdomen, feet and face.

Does lemongrass essential oil grow hair?

Many people apply lemongrass essential oil along with their hair oil on the scalp to promote hair growth. The oil is also used as an ingredient in many hair care products as well. However, there is little scientific evidence to prove that the oil promotes hair growth.

Does lemongrass oil make you sleepy?

Lemongrass oil has the ability to create a soothing ambiance that may help a person get better sleep.

Can I put lemongrass oil in my bath?

Lemongrass essential oil is not a popular choice when to come to bath oils. However, a very small amount of the oil can be added with other oils into the bath water.

  • Antibacterial activity of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil against some selected pathogenic bacterias. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764510601290
  • Antifungal Activity of Lemon Grass Oil and Lemon Grass Oil Cream https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/%28SICI%291099-1573%28199611%2910%3A7%3C551%3A%3AAID-PTR1908%3E3.0.CO%3B2-Q
  • Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4170112/
  • Antioxidant activity of lemon grass ESSENTIAL OIL (Cympopogon citratus) grown in North Indian plains 307583343_Antioxidant_activity_of_lemon_grass_ESSENTIAL_OIL_Cympopogon_citratus_grown_in_North_Indian_plains
  • Efficacy of 0.25% Lemongrass Oil Mouthwash: A Three Arm Prospective Parallel Clinical Study https://jcdr.net/article_fulltext.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2015&volume=9&issue=10&page=ZC13&issn=0973-709x&id=6581
  • Hypocholesterolaemic effect of ethanolic extract of fresh leaves of Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) https://academicjournals.org/journal/AJB/article-abstract/6AE822C6504
  • Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of fresh leaf aqueous extract of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. in rats https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874107001821?via%3Dihub
  • Effect of lemongrass oil on rheumatoid arthritis https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319092284_Effect_of_lemongrass_oil_on_rheumatoid_arthritis
  • Physiological and Psychological Effects of Lemongrass and Sweet Almond Massage Oil https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278411223_Physiological_and_Psychological_Effects_of_Lemongrass_and_Sweet_Almond_Massage_Oil
  • Insecticidal Activity of Lemongrass Essential Oil as an Eco-Friendly Agent against the Black Cutworm Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/12/8/737